Journal Gazette from Mattoon, Illinois on January 9, 1998 · Page 1
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Journal Gazette from Mattoon, Illinois · Page 1

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Mattoon, Illinois
Issue Date:
Friday, January 9, 1998
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Page 1
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t ' Friday January 9, 1998 L-L ml mm ml mm L-ta M A T T O O N is Mostly cloudy. Chance of light snow. High in the middle 30s. See A8 Sports 1 Record-setter MATTOON Assistant Lady Green Wave basketball coach Eric Haslett summed up Mattoon's 66-61 win over Big 12 rival Champaign Central in five words. "Thank goodness for Mandy Beck," he said. See B1 i g?. Poshard gets unofficial union nod: A3 It's how you play the game MIAMI (AP) There may be a role for Miss Manners on the sidelines for the Coral Reef Senior High football team. Coach Ernest Perkins requires his players to attend etiquette classes. In other words: Learn some manners or sit on the bench. Perkins makes players learn manners to help them prepare for life after football. He said he's upset about the bad reputation some give the ' sport. "It's not about the NFL, it's 'about being a man of honor, about getting a college degree," he said. "These guys are going to have to be polished when they meet others." During one class, the players, dressed in their blue and black football jerseys over a white shirt and tie, listened intently as teacher Myoushi Jones explained how to set a table. CLASSIFIEDS C7-14 COMICS C6 ENTERTAINMENT C4-5 FARM C2-3 LIFESTYLE A6 LOTTERY A8 OPINIONS A4 RECORDS u A8 SPORTS B1-4 Games! What more could you ask to find in today's Classified Ads? ' RURAL KINO FennHom Supp. Mon.-Sal.B-8, Sun. 10-5 Rl 121 W. Ma tloon Z35-7101 SEQA GENISIS, 3 control-- ' Isrs, 8 gamer, $100obo. Ph 849-3903 SET of 78 Bsanla Babies, Inc. Peace. Doodle. Spooky t muni mlrort 1fWl Ul. To place an Ad-Call 235-5656. Ex-openimtfeedeMt sues o veir firim; Former Charleston schools Superintendent Terry Weir seeking reinstatement, monetary award By Dave Fopay StaffWriter URBANA Former Charleston schools Superintendent Terry Weir has filed a federal lawsuit against the school board and the district over his firing last year. The board said Weir was dismissed on March 14 because he made unauthorized changes in his contract. But the lawsuit indicates there were "other issues" involved. The lawsuit asks for Weir to be reinstated as superintendent as well as for an unspecified monetary award to exceed $75,000. It claims the federal court has jurisdiction over the matter because Weir's firing violated his constitutional rights to property, meaning salary and benefits, and liberty the ability to pursue other employment. The public explanation from both Weir and the board following his dismissal was that it was because the board said he made changes in his contract without it ever voting on them. Weir and his attorney claimed the board voted on the changes though the members might not have been aware of what the vote concerned. t A comparison of Weir's contracts as superintendent with minutes of meetings where the board voted on administrators' contracts seem to support the board's position. Among the changes were an increase in insurance premium payments the district made for Weir and in the maximum of how many unused vacation days for wliich he could be paid. The lawsuit, however, includes a copy of a Jan. 5, 1997, board evaluation of Weir where the board listed several concerns with his performance. Included in those were a "conflict of interest and favoritism handling insurance matters" and "poor judgement, in a personal relationship with a staff member." The evalua&lrovided no details. Board President Mitch Shick said Thursday he didn't want to comment on specifics of the lawsuit until after the board had discussed it with its attorney. He said he hoped the board could meet with the attorney about the suit later this month. He did say there were "other issues" discussed during the March 14 dismissal hearing besides the contract changes, but they were "clearly the focusof it. "Absolutely there were other allega-! tions," Shick said. "The bottom line is the board's decision didn't have to go any further than the fact that Terry Weir unilaterally changed his contract and admitted it." He added that the board became aware of the contract changes after the evaluation. Shick claimed Weir included an altered contract in a stack of new contracts for principals the board did approve, and Weir's contract was signed by board members along with the others. According to the copyof the evaluation in the lawsuit, other concerns about Weir's performance as superintendent again, with no details provided were: the board's perception that Weir did not always support and defend the board to district administrators and staff. Weir didn't do enough to ensure that Taking the Lead ."V, - rL Wrfi '-1 w r . i i . Photo by Doug Lawhead Lora Zuber of Charleston appeared to be the only cheerleader present at the EIU basketball game Thursday night at Lantz Gym. Students, including cheerleaders, hav e not returned yet from the winter break. Malfunction grays paper Due to a malfunctioning piece of equipment called a pell box, your copy of today's newspaper resembles the weather gray. There is no color, except for color advertisements. Ads were printed before things went haywire. The pell box is essentially a dark room in a big box that makes negatives of pages sent to it from desktop computers. These full-page negatives are sent to the press room. This made it possible to bypass the old paste-up process. Pages in today's edition of the newspaper which has never failed to publish were sent through a laser printer and , pasted up by hand; the pages then being sent to the press darkroom to have full-page negatives made. The quality of black and white photographs in today's newspaper is not as crisp and sharp as it is when the pell box is behaving. We regret the poor visual quality, but hope to have the pell box back in operation shortly. 01. Skies serve ice, flood water By POLL Y ANDERSON Associated Press Writer An ice storm that cracked tree limbs and glazed roads knocked out power to millions of people in the Nort heast and Canada on Thursday, while the same huge system brought violent weather and flodding to the South. At least 15 people died. "I'd rather be buried in 10 feet of snow!" Tri-cia Rollins hollered over the roar of a chain saw that removed part of a huge tree that crashed onto her fron t la wn in Augusta, Maine. The slow -moving system, which hit the southern Plains earlier in the week, brought high wind, at least one tornado, lightning, thick coastal fog and snow as well as ice and rain. Nine people died in flooding on Wednesday and Thursday in the Southeast, including five iri one Tennessee county. In Canada, the ice storm was blamed for six deaths. The power outage numbers told the story: At least 205,000 customers lost electricity in Maine, 800,000 in eastern Canada, nearly 100,000 in upstate New York, 33,000 in New Hampshire and 10,000 in Vermont. Central Maine Power spokesman Mark Ishkanian called it "major, hurricane-type damage." , "And with continued bad weather forecast for the region, it's likely things will get worse before they get better," he said. In Augusta, Maine, the state capital, resi- Clouds still ruling skies MATTOON Overcast skies have been the rule in the area for several days. 1 And they've been accompanjed by sometimes heavy rains. A little more than an inch of rain fell in the Mattoon area Thursday. ' " , With temperatures dropping throughout the day, that precipitation now could turn to snow. , The nun pushed to the limit catch basins and other drainage systems, temporarily leaving water on some streets. But no major weather-related problems were reported, The afternoon high temperature was 42 degrees and the low as of early evening was 35 degrees. dents were awakened shortly before dawn by the crack of ice-laden tree limbs that plummeted to the ground with a roar. At times, the sky lit up with the flash of electrical transformers shorting out. Gov. Angus King declared a state of emer-gency and told nonessential government workers to stay home. New London, N.H., a picturesque college town of 3,300, banned all travel except for emergencies, a situation rare in the winter-wise state. administrators and staff were accountable for their job performances. the annual budget Weir prepared was "not specific enough about the consequences" of expenses exceeding income. he didn't keep the board fully informed about relationships between himself and principals and about building issues and staff concerns. The evaluation also said the board didn't intend tp renew Weir's contract after it expired, with reasons including his "stated intention to retire" and the board's wish to have the superintendent on one-year contracts. Weir's first contract as superintendent in 1993 was for two years and after that they were for three years. It also said the board's financial committee was to meet soon after the evaluation to consider amending Weir's contract "by mutual agreement" for the year to follow. The suit was filed at the U.S. District Courthouse in Urbana last month. The school district has yet to file a response, and no hearings are scheduled in the case. It was filed by the Springfield office of attorney Dave Smith, who represented-Weir at the dismissal hearing. Indonesian currency plummets 26 percent JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) Indonesian markets plunged today amid fears that an IMF rescue package could come unglued, with the currency losing more than one-fourth of its value and the stock market dropping 12 percent. Wild rumors gripped the marketplace, with panic-buying at supermarkets where shoppers stripped the shelves of sugar, rice, cooking oil and lined up 20-deep at checkout counters. The military appealed for calm. The rupiah crashed 26 percent to a record 10,550 rupiah to the U.S. dollar, while the Jakarta Stock Exchange index closed down 12 percent. The index rallied some after hitting a four-year low in the afternoon with a record drop of 19 percent. The rupiah's woes dragged down other Southeast Asian currencies. In late trading, the dollar was 4.7450 against the Malaysian ringgit, up from 4.5755 a day earlier. It was 1.7895 against the Singapore dollar, up froni 1.7529 on Wednesday and was quoted at 55.000 to the Thai baht, up from 52.7500. The Philippine peso bucked the trend. The dollar finished at 44.983 pesos, down from 45.420 on Wednesday. Brokers fear the rupiah's dramatic fall could mean many Indonesian compa-. nies might not be able to service foreign currency debts and could go under. They are als'o worried about the prospect of social unrest triggered by mounting unemployment and price increases. ' The armed forces have said they are ready to quell any disturbances. Today, it ' urged people not to panic over the rupiah's plunge, the official Antara news agency reported. "It is easy to say it, but have faith that the government is trying its best to handle the crisis," Antara quoted Lt. Gen. Yunus Ybsfiah, chief for sociopolitical affairs of the military, as saying. Many people, however, weren't taking any chances. . "I'm buying up big because we heard rumors that everything is going to go up in price," said Susilawati, a 42-year-old housewife stocking up at the Golden Truly supermarket in downtown Jakarta. The store like others in the city ' quickly ran out of staple foods such as sugar, cooking oil and rice. "They are buying five weeks' supply of goods. It's our busiest day ever," one supermarket manager said. Currency dealers blamed the plunge on fears the International Monetary Fund might suspend the disbursement of financial aid to Indonesia because a new' budget, announced by President Suharto on Tuesday, lacked a clear reform agenda. It was the rupiah's fifth consecutive record low in as many trading days this year. The rupiah has now lost about 76 percent of its value since July, when a currency crisis hit Indonesia and other Southeast Asian nations. 01l'Jl MMl;Wt(flltffl.r,(aTO.fm

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